Regulation of NADPH oxidase in vascular endothelium: the role of phospholipases, protein kinases, and cytoskeletal proteins

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2009 Apr;11(4):841-60. doi: 10.1089/ars.2008.2231.


The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the vasculature plays a major role in the genesis of endothelial cell (EC) activation and barrier function. Of the several potential sources of ROS in the vasculature, the endothelial NADPH oxidase family of proteins is a major contributor of ROS associated with lung inflammation, ischemia/reperfusion injury, sepsis, hyperoxia, and ventilator-associated lung injury. The NADPH oxidase in lung ECs has most of the components found in phagocytic oxidase, and recent studies show the expression of several homologues of Nox proteins in vascular cells. Activation of NADPH oxidase of nonphagocytic vascular cells is complex and involves assembly of the cytosolic (p47(phox), p67(phox), and Rac1) and membrane-associated components (Noxes and p22(phox)). Signaling pathways leading to NADPH oxidase activation are not completely defined; however, they do appear to involve the cytoskeleton and posttranslation modification of the components regulated by protein kinases, protein phosphatases, and phospholipases. Furthermore, several key components regulating NADPH oxidase recruitment, assembly, and activation are enriched in lipid microdomains to form a functional signaling platform. Future studies on temporal and spatial localization of Nox isoforms will provide new insights into the role of NADPH oxidase-derived ROS in the pathobiology of lung diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / enzymology*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phospholipases / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • Protein Kinases
  • Phospholipases